Professor Somasundaran received his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and his Bachelor of Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in 1961. Before joining Columbia University, he worked for the International Minerals and Chemical Corporation and Reynolds Industries.  He was appointed the first La von Duddleson Krumb Professor in the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the first Director of the Langmuir Center for Colloids & Interfaces and founding director of the National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Center for Advanced Studies in Novel Surfactants.  He was also elected Chairman of the Henry Krumb School at Columbia University, as Chair of Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Material Science & Mineral Engineering in 1992 and 1995.

He currently serves on the Piermont Board of Appeals and previously in the Planning board.. His research interests are surface and colloid chemistry of minerals, materials and microbes, molecular interactions at surfaces using advanced spectroscopy, polymer  and  surfactant  adsorption, flocculation/dispersion, biosurface phenomena, environmental  engineering (waste treatment), enhanced  recovery of oil and coal cleaning.

P. Somasundaran

Professor of Mineral Engineering


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  • DEPARTMENTColumbia University